Law School Discussion

Deciding Where to Go => Visits, Admit Days, and Open Houses => Topic started by: fortook on August 09, 2011, 04:30:28 PM

Title: UMass Law
Post by: fortook on August 09, 2011, 04:30:28 PM
Does anyone know anything about UMass?  Student opinions? Job placement? All the rest of that good stuff?
Title: Re: UMass Law
Post by: Cher1300 on August 10, 2011, 04:09:05 PM
I did my undergrad at U-Mass years ago, but I believe this is the first year they have been approved for a law school.  So there probably aren't any statistics for it other than undergrad.
Title: Re: UMass Law
Post by: fortook on August 10, 2011, 06:41:44 PM
They had their first class start last summer, I think.  They are not ABA approved yet.  I'm hoping for a feel from the students.  What kind of internships and law clerking opportunities have opened up?  How the local legal community is accepting, or not accepting, them.  I have maxed all the research resources.  They are too new for any formal stats.
Title: Re: UMass Law
Post by: pslaw2011 on August 14, 2011, 04:20:38 PM
UMASS Law used to be Southern New England, and from what it sounds like UMASS must have got a really good deal on SNE. And without the ABA accreditation thats a major risk... although one would imagine UMass would invest whatever is needed to get the accreditation.
Title: Re: UMass Law
Post by: fortook on August 14, 2011, 06:16:10 PM
I'm sure they'll get accredited.  What concerns me the local reception.  SNEL had its fair share of problems.  I wonder if UMass inherited them.
Title: Re: UMass Law
Post by: Cher1300 on August 22, 2011, 04:37:23 PM
U-Mass is considered a good school and just as the above poster stated, I'm sure they will do whatever is necessary to keep up their own reputation.  Even if it takes a couple of years to get it right, I believe they'll get the school ABA approved sooner rather than later. ;)
Title: Re: UMass Law
Post by: fortook on October 15, 2011, 04:53:46 PM
Do I seem hostile to UMass Law?  Got an angry and incoherent PM from a self declared UMass Law student.  If you can't mention the school without students getting defensive you might have a problem.  I'm not hostile to UMass.  The schools argument is concise and true: Mass deserves a public school.  UMass as an institution is competent and insightful.

If the mere mention of the school causes you to get defensive, you may want to look inward buddy.  I just wanted some info, not making any judgements.  Don't "Cooley" up on me before the school even gets off the ground.
Title: Re: UMass Law
Post by: Prawo Pracy on January 13, 2012, 06:16:48 PM
True. UMass, as an institution, is competent and insightful. But please realize that UMass essentially stamped its name on a previously existing school, one that had its own procedures, staff and faculty in place. Also, please realize that the previously existing school was horrible. So although UMass is reputable (particularly UMass Amherst) their law school may not be. Some considerations: whether the UMass name alone up the school's  all-important USNews ranking (which ranks for reputation); whether the UMass name increase the school's prominence in the region, particularly southern and western MA.  Hope this helps you decide. Also, and this obviously should go without saying, please discuss any and all questions you have about any law school that your considering outside the T10 with current and recently graduated students from that particular school.
Title: Re: UMass Law
Post by: bobol on January 15, 2012, 06:08:15 AM
I formerly believed that the merger of the Southern New England School of Law into UMass created a certainty that ABA accreditation was a done deal.  I still believe that because of  the resources of the State of Massachusetts that in time the school will be accredited and grow into a respectable school but I now believe that that process may be longer and more painful than originally thought for the following 2 reasons:

- the ABA turned down the accreditation of Linclon Memorial University (LMU) in Tennessee in December 2100 and is being sued to reverse its position.  While that litigation is underway  the ABA will be very cautious to not admit a school whose may have a factor similar to LMU.  Reports indicate that LMU had LSAT numbers higher than 6 ABA accredited law schools and that its denial was over management of the school and its curriculum. Recall also that unaccrediated Massachusetts Law School (MLS)(still in existence) previously sued the ABA over accreditation.  Although MLS lost its lawsuit it nevertheless caused the ABA to change its accreditation proces.

-  UMass sacked their longtime Dean Robert Ward in October 2011 just prior to the ABA accreditation visit.  News reports indicate that Ward's dismissal  regarded personal  expenses ($2,500+/-)which he put on his expense account and was not related to the discharge of his duties as Dean.  It is unfortunate that Dean Ward who had quaterbaacked the merger process would be terminated at such a critical process and for such a small sum of money.  If in fact Ward's dismissal was solely related to some lousy unauthorized expenses then it would seem that UMass could have metered less severe punishment  that would have allowed him to complete the ABA accreditation  process since stability of a school is a critical,component of the ABA's decision.
The bottom line:  I believe that UMass will be provided provisional accreditation, perhaps as early as June 2012 but I would not be surprised,if it is delayed over the above 2 issues.  I will be surprised if an applicant that enrolls at UMass Law this Fall will not ultimately graduate from an ABA accredited but the process may not be a straight and easy as you think.  If UMass Law makes sense to you then proceed cautiously but proceed.

Good luck to all.

Note:  I typed this on an iPad and apologize for the many typos.
Title: Re: UMass Law
Post by: fortook on January 15, 2012, 09:54:48 AM
All good points.  I was aware of the the issues you mentioned, but did (maybe do, I'm still thinking over your perspective) not give them the weight you mentioned because:

LMU is a joke school, all around, not just their law school.  They are a non profit that acts like a for profit with massive ad campaigns, open admission and huge tuition amounts.  Other than the law school, the only "normal" grad program they offer is a D.O. program.  All the other grad programs are, well, just weird and satellited out by renting local high school class rooms in the evenings all through out the area.   UMass is a "real", for lack of a better word, school.  The connection you made from the perspective of the ABA has real merit, however.

The article I read on Ward (I forget which paper- probably the Globe) made him seem shady. I had a different thought: I inferred that he was fired because accreditation was so near.  Did he have some other baggage that was unreleased?  I thought the money amounts were too small for such action too, leading me to believe it was used as an excuse to get rid of him.  But that's just speculation.

While you are not wrong at all, I can't imagine Umass failing accreditation, or that it will be stretched out.  While I thought LMU would get it, the fact that they were denied does not surprise me.  As to the MLS suit, I did not know they tried to get accreditation.  When did they try?  How did the MLS suit affect ABA accreditation protocol?  I actually contacted MLS once and they seemed actually "harsher" than any ABA school I had dealt with.

If I had to guess, the LMU suit will lead no where, even though I'm not sure of the details.  Duncan, the long serving rep for who the school was named, even conceded that TN will likely soon pull LMU's state accreditation, opening suits from former students of LMU law who now cannot practice and 100s of 1000s of dollars in debt.  No one, I mean no one, even in the east TN area respects LMU- they are too commercial.
Title: Re: UMass Law
Post by: bobol on January 16, 2012, 04:16:32 AM
We don't disagree that UMass will ultimately get accredited now that it has been merged with the Massachussets state system.  My point is that the firing of Dean Ward and the litigation regarding LMU may cause the UMass Ccrediation to be delayed. 

If you "google" Massachusettss School of law versus ABA ( or some variation thereof) you will see that approximately 10 years ago the litigation occurred and that mass Law lost but commentary in some subsequent articles indicate that the ABA standards were revised by the ABA thereafter.  If I recall the dispute had to do with Mass  (I)  not having sufficient Library resources which it claimed were unneeded because of technological advances since the 1900s and ( ii) not having sufficient full time professors to teach because Mass Law used adjuncts.  Mass alw claimed that the adjuncts composed of practicing attorneys and judges in the area was sufficient.  The ABA requires a ratio of  more expensive full time professors.

If you google  "Southern New Englanf  law School law suit" of some variation you will see that when  SNEL ( pre UMass merger) was denied accreditation one or more students sued SNEL alleging that the school had represented that it would,receive ABA accreditation before they graduated.  SNEL won the lawsuit but shows that ABA accreditation is never a sure thing.

My guess is tha UMass gets accredited this year or next.  If UMass had not become a part of the atate of Massachusetts system I would not think so.  The reality is however that the ABA must shut down the flood
gates of new law schools and existing schools expanding their class size to generate more money.

Good luck to al that read this post.  Keep confidence and don.'t give up.

I typed this on an iPad so my typing skills are less than accurate so I apologize for the many typos.
Title: Re: UMass Law
Post by: DA CPA on May 25, 2012, 08:36:31 AM
Per the school webiste: "Provisional Accreditation Recommended by ABA Committee
The American Bar Association Accreditation Committee has recommended to the Council on Legal Education that UMass Law be granted provisional ABA approval."

Title: Re: UMass Law
Post by: fortook on May 26, 2012, 11:08:02 AM
Yeah, I didn't think accreditation would be their problem. Administratively, UMass knows what they're doing. More along the lines of SNESL's not so great legacy and the reception in the area.

The school is right, its silly for a state the size of Mass not to have a state school, but the legal market in Mass is crazy competitive.  Will their market be RI or CT? Or will grads filter into Boston, where there are too many law schools already?  The south coast isn't populous enough to support a law school.